Millerettes off to 3-1 COAC start

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Sidney Benge blocks a Westmoore shot as Mallory Scott leaps up to help in the Millerettes win over Westmoore. YHS is off to a 3-1 COAC start. (Photo by Chuck Reherman)

By Chuck Reherman
Sports Editor
MOORE – It has been a season of firsts for Yukon’s Millerette volleyball team.
After knocking off the No. 2 team in the state, the Millerettes are off to their best Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference start ever after a three set sweep of Moore Tuesday night in Moore.
The No. 10 ranked Millerettes swept Moore 25-13, 25-8 and 25-18 to improve to 3-1 in conference play and 7-4 overall.
The match was not really as close as the final scores indicated. But, it was a match that head coach Rachel Allred was concerned about after her team had pulled off three major wins in a row.
“We got caught getting comfortable a few times,” Allred said. “We had to refocus and get back to playing our level of ball. Overall is a was a good night and all our varsity got some good court time in.
“It was a big challenge after the last three matches we played,” she added. “And, although we got into some dead zones where we weren’t playing to our potential, the girls refocused and pushed to stay focused.”
The Millerettes controlled the tempo of the first two sets, but saw Moore make a run in the third.
The Lady Lions made a run and rallied to cut the lead to 15-12, then 17-15. The Millerettes refocused after the match was tied 18-18 and reeled off the final seven points to sweep the match.
“We played well with our regular rotation in the first set and only got stuck a couple of times with some silly mistakes,” Allred said. “In the second set, we made a couple of player switches and Moore got into a rut that led to a big run for us.
“In the last set we made some more adjustments and then just got too comfortable,” she added. “We refocused and got a push together to score the last seven points.”
Brianna Worth and Sunny Middleton led the team in kills with six each and Middleton had a team high seven blocks.
Middleton and Mallory Scott both had four aces, while Scott finished the match with 33 assists. Scott, Chloe Hartman and Sidney Benge led the team in digs.
In a match played earlier, the Millerettes pulled off a three-set sweep of Westmoore in YHS’ home court.
YHS won the match 25-21, 25-22 and 25-20.
“The last three matches we have played are the most consistent we have played,” Allred said. “For the most part we have the lead the entire time until the third set. We still get a little frustrated with each other, but they are getting better and we were able to pull ourselves up after we got down and we were able to finish strong.
“We didn’t panic and the persistence to stay in there and the refocusing and resetting after mistakes is getting better,” she added. “We started off really slow in the first one and we called a time out and get them fired up. I talked to them about me not having to get them fired up, they should want to win.
“They are self-motivated and they just took a little bit to get that energy going and they kept it well tonight.”
Leading 2-0 in sets, the Millerettes saw Westmoore put together an urgent rush and took the lead in the third set. The Lady Jaguars opened a 13-8 lead and went up 15-10.
But, the Millerettes came back with kills from Middleton, Worth and Benge to spark an 8-3 run and tied the set 18-10.
A pair of service aces from Benge and blocks from Middleton and Worth pushed the lead to 23-20. The Millerettes scored the final two points on an ace from Scott and a blocked shot off a Westmoore player on a shot from Worth that went out of bounds.
The Millerettes did come back from a early deficit in the opening set to win 25-21. The second set also went back and forth until the Millerettes put together a run to put the match away.
“Offensively, we did really well,” Allred said. “They had trouble holding Bri outside and Sidney had some great defense.
“Our service game was really strong,” she said. “We did miss a couple of serves, but we bounced back from that. Addison (Winmer) had five aces in a row kin the first time we had her serve. Mal had a great night setting.”
YHS travels to Norman on Tuesday.